How many times have you heard the phrase,“He/she was just lucky?” Think of emotions that run through your mind when someone you’re conversing with refers to another’s situation as lucky. Do you find yourself getting angry over the situation? Do you find yourself comparing? Do you feel a sense of guilt?
We consider ourselves “lucky” or “unlucky” when something occurs in our life. Who determines whether it’s lucky or unlucky? Is it dependent on our state of our mind? Or is it based on society’s perspective of what is considered “fortunate vs. unfortunate.” And how much of this is based on the fact that everything in life is in constant change. Nothing is ever stagnant—just like rivers and streams flow to merge with the ocean, so too our life is always evolving and changing to ultimately merge with our larger self. There’s an evolution process that takes place and sometimes the flow is upward or downward depending on how we view it.
I read a wonderful article by Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk and author of Art of Disappearing. He writes about how “it all goes wrong anyway.” He explains the Buddha’s First Noble Truth, writing that, “Suffering exists in life.” It’s a fact. Life will always present with difficulties, and no one is free from suffering. The goal is to live through it. If we accept that suffering is a part of the cycle of life, how we approach misfortune alters our perception and attitude towards any situation. Instead of getting stuck to the situation, we move through the situation. Instead of projecting the outcome of events that are impossible to determine it would be more advantageous to our human spirit to live through each moment that is happening consciously.
So much of this is our state of mind. We can view things as lucky or unlucky—it’s our mind that claims it, owns it and gives it a name. The moment the mind owns it, an emotion is created, and we get attached to it and by getting attached to something, we begin to choose how we’re going to experience the issue, event or situation. In his book, Ajahn Brahm goes on to write that “Your job is not to ask the world for the things that the world cannot give you, your job is to observe, your job is not to try to push this world to make it just the way you like it to be. Your job is to understand, accept and let it go. The more you fight your body, your mind, your family, and the world, the more collateral damage you’ll cause and the more pain you’ll experience.”
So taking a stand back and viewing the events like a movie, we’re able to see the bigger picture; it also helps us look at things with detachment and feel less likely to label the situations that are happening to us as “good” or “bad.” It simply is—nothing more than that. Things will always go wrong—it’s a part of life, so rather than blaming ourselves for our “fate” and using our precious energy on things that are beyond our control, let us learn to use the situations that we are in wisely, by choosing more compassion towards ourselves, by learning to accept that life is “up and down” and more than anything to live through the experience rather than project the experience.